OKMULGEE, Okla.- The Dewar Indian Community gave back to Mvskoke children between the ages of 0-19 years old that reside within their community boundaries. The community gave out $100 to each child to select what they wanted for Christmas at the Okmulgee Wal-Mart location on Dec. 17.
Dewar Indian Community Vice Chair Jenny Hunnicutt (Mvskoke) has been a part of her community for quite some time. According to Hunnicutt, Christmas at Wal-Mart has been an ongoing holiday tradition for the community since she first became a member.
In the past the holiday tradition has taken place at the Henryetta Wal-Mart location. This year the community moved the tradition north to the Okmulgee Wal-Mart location since it offers a larger variety of items to choose from.
“We started that as a way of giving back to the community, allowing the kids to come and do their own shopping. It’s a lot easier I think to do then it is to get stuff for them because you are wanting to get something that they are going to use,” Hunnicutt said.
According to Hunnicutt, this year had a great turnout, with 40 people signed up to participate.
Two community members stood on both ends of the doorway of the store to greet the young Christmas shoppers and give out instructions on which register to proceed to. At the register the Dewar Indian Community Chairperson cashed a check to provide each shopper with their stipend.
Although the young shoppers had the freedom to purchase what they pleased, some items like gift cards and ammunition were off limits. In the past Hunnicutt has seen teenagers buy large quantities of snacks and soda.
Hunnicutt enjoys seeing children light up with happiness. She was glad the community was able to provide the shopping trip once again for young community members.
“I like seeing the little kiddos getting to come in and pick out what they want and they don’t have to ask, ‘If I be good can I get this?’ and being told ‘no, mom and dad are buying groceries’ and things like that. It’s a day for them to come and get whatever they want with smiles on their faces,” Hunnicutt said.
Hunnicutt grew up going to church and seeing her community giving back to those less fortunate. Hunnicutt is a school teacher, and has provided a similar experience for her students as well. Hunniccutt has seen acts of kindness like this throughout her life. She mentioned that it is a blessing to give back to her own community and that she loves seeing other children whom she does not get to see on a daily basis.
“I just want to thank the Indian community for letting me be part of it and letting me be on the board as long as I’ve had and being part of seeing everything grow. I’m hoping we can continue to grow and get more people involved and I appreciate Muscogee (Creek) Nation for providing the opportunities to do these things for our kiddos,” Hunnicutt said.
To keep up to date on the Dewar Indian Community’s events, they can be found on Facebook, Dewar Indian Community.